Graduate student profiles

Erin Alexiuk | PhD

Erin Alexiuk

Supervisor: Dan McCarthy

Research Interests: Social innovation, social-ecological resilience, community development, Indigenous governance, historical ecology, community-based and participatory methods, and transformative learning.

Research Topic: Exploring the role of autoethnograpy in social-ecological systems thinking through family history research in Killarney Provincial Park.

Claire Atherton | MES - thesis

Claire Atherton

Supervisor: Stephen Murphy

Research Interests: I am interested in how we can improve current approaches to wildlife conservation and habitat restoration, especially in human-dominated landscapes such as southern Ontario.

Research Topic: Habitat restoration strategies for Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark.

Emmanuel Badewa | PhD

Emmanuel Badewa

Supervisor: Maren Oelbermann

Research Interests: Soil Security, Sustainable agriculture, Biobased Residues, Greenhouse gas emissions, Soil health, Precision agriculture.

Research Topic: The impact of biobased residues on soil health and greenhouse gas emissions under a changing climate.

Claudia Lizbeth Benitez Jurado | MES - thesis

Claudia Lizbeth Benitez Jurado

Supervisor: James Nugent

Research Interests: Carbon pricing, sustainable finance, sustainable agriculture, agroforestry.

Research Topic: Adoption of the Emissions Trading System in Mexico. How to move towards a low carbon economy?

Kealan Branellec | MES - thesis

Kealan Branellec

Supervisor: Stephen Murphy

Research Interests: Agroecology, food security, social development, youth engagement, biodiversity conservation.

Research Topic: Mitigating iron deficiency anemia and biodiversity loss through agroecology in Ica, Peru.

Mark Brodrick | PhD

Mark Brodrick

Supervisor: Vanessa Schweizer

Research Interests: Sustainability, the UN SDGs.

Research Topic: The integration of sustainability (SDGs) by local governments.

Julia Carvalho | PhD

Julia Carvalho

Supervisor: Jennifer Clapp and Andrea Collins

Research Interests: Interested in political economy and legal regulations and public policies, particularly in the food sector and agriculture.

Christina Marie Comeau | PhD

Christina Marie Comeau

Supervisor: Vanessa Schweizer and Dan McCarthy

Research Interests: Designing and implementing interventions in complex systems. Wicked problems.

Research Topic: Re-thinking social innovation labs.

Kira Cooper | PhD

Kira Cooper

Supervisor: Robert Gibson

Research Interests: My research interests converge at the nexus of mindfulness and sustainability. I am curious about how contemplative practices can contribute to lasting wellbeing for all through systems change and inner transformation. I approach this work with a research background in infectious disease management, sustainability, and religious studies.

Research Topic: My work explores how contemplative practices such as mindfulness can support systems transformation and collective flourishing. I am particularly interested in the inner dimensions of sustainability and how they may nurture complexity capacity, sensemaking, and healing.

Elizabeth Cunningham | MES - thesis

Elizabeth Cunningham

Supervisor: Andrew Trant

Research Interests: My research interests are in landscape connectivity and environmental conservation. With a particular focus on protected areas, I am interested in investigating the impact of fragmented landscapes on ecosystem health in urbanizing Region's.

Alessandra Aponte Donaire | PhD (collaborative water program)

Alessandra Aponte Donaire

Supervisor: Rob de Loë

Research Interests: Water governance and social media, energy (oil and gas pipelines), and digital transformation.

Research Topic: Social media as an external driver of water governance.

Emily Filinska | MES - thesis

Emily Filinska

Supervisor: Prateep Nayak

Research Interests: Dolphin and whale conservation, political ecology, social-ecological systems, human-wildlife interactions, fisheries, bycatch governance.

Research Topic: Cetacean-Fisher Interactions in a Coastal Social-ecological System: Bycatch Impacts on Vulnerability and Adaptation Strategies for Viability.

Madu Galappaththi | PhD

Madu Galappaththi

Supervisor: Derek Armitage

Research Interests: Environmental Governance, Social Wellbeing, Gender, Intersectionality, Fish Value Chains.

Research Topic: Governance opportunities to foster gendered social wellbeing in dried fish value chains of Sri Lanka.

Tamara Harbar | MES - thesis

Tamara Harbar

Supervisor: Jennifer Lynes

Research Interests: Understanding human psychology in relation to the environment, particularly in relation to pollinators and pollinator habitat. Ecological restoration.

Research Topic: The Human Dimensions of Bees.

Lowine Hill | PhD

Lowine Hill

Supervisor: Derek Armitage and Jeremy Pittman

Research Interests: Disaster risk governance, social networks, intersectionality, influence of gender(s) and power.

Research Topic: Understanding disaster risk governance from ridge to reef: the place of social networks in Caribbean islands.

Thy Huynh | MES - thesis

Thy Huynh

Supervisor: James Nugent

Research Interests: The intersecting aspects of environmental issues/climate change with mental health, social equality, and policy work. Alongside conservation efforts, waste management, food management, and sustainable lifestyle impacts.

Research Topic: Climate Adaptation Programs in BC and their equity concerns on vulnerable coastal communities.

Jim Jones | PhD

Jim Jones

Supervisor: Stephen Quilley

Research Interests: My research interests are in social and ecological sustainability and navigating the transition into post-growth futures. I am particularly interested in the intersection of systems thinking and complexity, ecological economics and narrative ecology.

Research Topic: Through my research will be exploring the role of narratives and stories in communities of land-based artisans and craft-people that may prefigure post-growth political economies.

Isabel Jorgensen | PhD (collaborative water program)

Isabel Jorgensen

Supervisor: Dustin Garrick

Research Interests: Emerging water conflicts, social-ecological systems, remote sensing, machine learning.

Research Topic: Competition for water between cities and agriculture.

Trang Le | MES - thesis (collaborative water program)

Trang Le

Supervisor: Roy Brouwer

Research Interests: I'm interested in the broad interdisciplinary field of urban sustainability. More specifically, my interests encompass water quality management, stormwater management, plastic waste removal and management, green infrastructure, sustainability outreach and education, and urban agriculture.

Research Topic: Connections, cost-effectiveness analysis, opportunities and barriers to implementing plastic removal or prevention technologies within the Great Lakes basin.

Arsenii Maksimenko | MES - thesis

Arsenii Maksimenko

Supervisor: Stephen Quilley

Research Interests: Corporate sustainability, urban development, sustainable logistics, ESG, urban pollution.

Research Topic: How does the gaining importance of sustainability is changing the way we do business and what barriers does the corporate community might face as a result.

Misty Matthews-Roper | PhD

Misty Matthews-Roper

Supervisor: Brendon Larson

Research Interests: Environmental communication; empirical ecocriticism; climate fiction novels.

Research Topic: My Ph.D. work focuses on the cultural phenomena of climate fiction novels. I am observing bookclubs as they read these novels in order to measure and articulate the social influence these novels have on Canadian readers.

Mark McCarthy | MES - thesis (collaborative water program)

Mark McCarthy

Supervisor: Simon Courtenay

Research Interests: I am interested in the process of environmental assessment in urban areas.

Research Topic: The use of freshwater benthic invertebrates in environmental assessment of rivers and streams in urban areas.

Kelly McLean | PhD

Kelly McLean

Supervisor: Brad Fedy

Research Interests: Applied wildlife management, ecology, spatial analysis.

Research Topic: Spatial and population ecology of Eastern Population Sandhill Cranes.

Ella-Kari Muhl | PhD

Ella-Kari Muhl

Supervisor: Derek Armitage

Research Interests: Knowledge co-production, governance, indicator development.

Research Topic: My research seeks to develop novel 'wise practice' frameworks to co-produce knowledge for marine and fisheries governance, with a particular emphasis on the recovery of sea otter in Haida Gwaii, B.C. My work also engages with the cultural values and multiple objectives (e.g., social, economic and ecological) embedded in fisheries and marine conservation, and their integration into indicators (and modelling) processes used to evaluate different management strategies.

Eve McLeod Norberg | MES - thesis

Eve McLeod Norberg

Supervisor: Robert Gibson

Research Interests: My research interests include climate change mitigation, primarily involving the carbon cycle. This involves renewable energy production, carbon sequestration and how a low carbon future can be attained in a sustainable way.

Research Topic: Responsible mining standards surrounding rare earth element mining in Canada.

Augustine Osei | PhD

Augustine Osei

Supervisor: Maren Oelbermann

Research Interests: My research interests are in the areas of soil fertility management, soil biogeochemical processes in tree-based systems, particularly, in the areas of nutrient and carbon cycling, and soil carbon sequestration.

Research Topic: Determining carbon dynamics and greenhouse gas emissions in bioenergy plantations composed of perennial grasses and short-rotation woody crops.

Dorian Pomezanski | PhD

Dorian Pomezanski

Supervisor: Stephen Murphy

Research Interests: My research interests lie in understanding how landscape structure, composition, and connectivity play a role in wildlife population dynamics. This includes exploring the role of mitigation strategies, land use planning, and wildlife monitoring in ensuring the long-term persistence of wildlife in an around urbanized areas.

Research Topic: My research topic is habitat thresholds for long-term anuran population persistence in Ontario.

Natasha Serrao | PhD

Natasha Serrao

Supervisor: Prateep Nayak

Research Interests: Social-ecological Systems, Keystone Species, Political Ecology, Governance.

Research Topic: Conceptualizing Social-Ecological Keystone Species.

Dilruba Fatima Sharmin | PhD (collaborative water program)

Dilruba Fatima Sharmin

Supervisor: Roy Brouwer

Research Interests: Climate and Environmental Migration, Climate Change Adaptation, Sustainability, Climate Finance, Water Resource Economics, Ecosystem Services Valuation.

Research Topic: Migration decision and its implications under climate change.

Chloé St. Amand | MES - thesis (collaborative water program)

Chloé St. Amand

Supervisor: Andrea Collins

Research Interests: Interdisciplinary approaches to sustainability, gender, water, and wastewater systems.

Research Topic: Understanding the role of grassroots activism in the development of the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Jessica Tureček | PhD

Jessica Tureček

Supervisor: Simon Courtenay

Research Interests: Ecological statistics. Evaluating and communicating ecological "health". Methodological review. Cross-disciplinary data integration.

Research Topic: Comparative Evaluation of Nekton-based Multimetric Indices and Multivariate Analysis: Monitoring and Communicating Estuary Health Status in Canada’s East Coast Estuaries.

Sara Wickham | PhD

Sara Wickham

Supervisor: Andrew Trant

Research Interests: My research interests are historical ecology, place-based research, community-driven research, coastal ecology, and plant ecology.

Research Topic: Identification and restoration of historical First Nations plant stewardship in Coastal British Columbia, Canada.